There’s something that ‘s been bothering me for a long time and since it’s bothering me, I suspect it may be bothering a great portion of the American population, as well as other so-called civilized populations around the: What’s happening to our monsters?
Let me focus on zombies for a start, since I’ve been thinking about this since I saw the latest Dawn of the Dead awhile back. Look at any movie produced in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Zombies, brought back to “life” by some form of voodoo, were just big numb, lumbering, slack-jawed things with the intelligence of a lug nut, wandering mindlessly, often mistaken for members of Congress. Mostly they just galumphed through fog, scaring the beans and other food types out of Abbott and Costello or Bob Hope. They were so slow you could jump on a Segway and run circles around them without getting snared. In the ‘60s, Night of the Living Dead gave us a new zombie version, brought back to life by some alien virus and, though still lumbering, now needed to eat people, since a diet of embalming fluid is nutrient-deficient. These Bill Gates Windows 2.0 zombies could only be stopped by 160-decibel salsa music or a shot to the head from Dick Cheney. Since the ‘90s, with further upgrades, zombies no longer lumber. Some have even produced their own Pilates and Tae Bo videos. But why should it be easier for these people to do those things now that they’re dead when alive some of them couldn’t even generate new skin cells without being short of breath?
I’d sympathize with the old zombies, especially when they showed up at someone’s door selling Amway. But this new generation of zombies can run, jump and almost fly at you like smart phone contract salespeople at the mall. Some can even remember the words to “Disco Duck.” And what about Social Security? It wasn’t around when the old-type zombies were out networking. Many of these new zombies were already collecting it. Can they collect now that they’re active again or are they still considered dead? Is their state of decomposition taken into account? Could active decomposition be considered self-employment and subject to the tax? These people were supposed to be dead and buried. Do undertakers offer a money-back guarantee since technically they’re not because they’re obviously running around eating people’s faces? Is cannibalism considered a hobby or employment? If they were employed, are they entitled to get their old jobs back now that they’re up and about? What about life insurance? Are they obligated to get the payout from their greedy relatives and return it? If it’s already spent can they just eat the relatives and the insurance agent and be done with it? If prosecuted, are zombies entitled to legal representation? If so, would they be better off eating their lawyers and representing themselves?
I could go on with other monsters—the Mummy, Frankenstein, Ann Coulter—but my head is spinning and I’m sober, so I’ll save them for another time. Give us back the non-CGI monsters we knew and loved, the way we loved them. And if it’s not too late, let’s keep zombies out of elected office.